Make money from your home in 2019
How to profit from property using a locations agency
There are countless ways you can make money from your home – whether it’s taking in a lodger, letting out a room on Airbnb or renting out your driveway for parking. However, if you really want to take it to the next level, a locations agency can help you make thousands per year by using your home as a location for adverts, TV shows and online marketing campaigns.
Jo Marston, a 46-year-old project manager for a bank, and Joe Pinder, 48, who has his own construction firm creating bars and music venues, have done just that. They’ve made over £5,500 since January 2017 by hiring out their home in Leeds through UK Locations.
We speak to Jo about their experiences so far.
Tell us about your home?
Joe and I started looking for a property to buy together in 2016. Joe was living in Leeds city centre in a riverside apartment and we had just finished my previous project, doing up an old stone detached cottage which had once been used as a chapel of rest.
We eventually found a Grade II listed house in Headingley that was built in 1865 and extends over 5,200 sq ft over three floors. It’s in an interesting spot surrounded by some spectacular properties, many of which are now student accommodation, but some have been retained as family homes.
The property used to be the vicarage for the Leeds Parish church, but in the 90’s it was converted into offices and occupied by the RNIB until they vacated. It then stood empty for around nine years before we purchased it.
Why did you decide to register your home with a locations agency?
Joe’s son Jake had just started working for Alexander and James as a furniture designer and he thought it would make a great location to showcase their range and introduced us to the team. We had our first photo shoot in January 2017, and shortly after we decided to register as we enjoyed it so much.
How did you hear about UK Locations?
I researched the internet for location companies in the Yorkshire area and UK Locations happened to be literally on our doorstep. I liked the fact that it’s a local business so they know the area and we felt really comfortable with the team and were impressed with their how they presented their portfolio of properties on their website.
Did you have any apprehensions or worries about it?
Not really – it was more the anticipation of whether the companies who had hired our home would like it, get the results they needed and love it as much as we do.
Tell us about the first time your home was used as a location?
Our first shoot was for Ebuyer and it was an online video content shoot. It was done in a day and went without a hitch. The filming was all based in the drawing room and the team used the kitchen diner to work from. As this was a video shoot they had actors and actresses also to factor in.
What kinds of campaigns has your home been used for since then?
The house has been used for several photography campaigns for companies like Neom Organics, Schweppes, Prestigious Textiles and Baker Furniture. We’ve also done a German TV commercial for Glossybox and a TV commercial for E45 Cream with Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, who’s the only celeb we’ve had through our doors so far.
Did you have to do anything to prepare beforehand?
Not really. You agree beforehand which rooms the clients want to use, so we make sure they’re clean and clear of any personal clutter. Usually the stylists will bring some of their own props depending on the theme of the shoot.
What’s it like having a crew in your home?
It’s fun and creative and can be quite hectic at times, particularly if it’s a commercial shoot where more staff are needed. We’ve had as little as four to a team of about 20.
Did you leave them to it or did you stick around and observe?
A bit of both. I have the flexibility to work from home, so sometimes I shut myself in the office but I’m on site just in case of any queries. Otherwise I draft my mum in to be on standby. It’s useful if they just have an odd question that you can answer on the spot and for me it’s interesting too as I see my house being transformed when props are used or if it’s a furniture shoot. Each shoot has been different. If I’m hanging around or not, I like to be there when they first arrive.
What support do you get from the agency?
The agency manage the process end to end until the day of the shoot, liaising between us and the client. If the client wants to do a recce first they will also organise that. Any queries we have, the team at UK Locations are on hand to answer it. After the shoot they always call us to see how it went and want us to give honest feedback about the client.
What would you say to others considering doing the same?
If you like the excitement of photoshoots or film production and you want to earn an additional income from your home then go for it. You do need to have an element of involvement and I’d say the more flexible you are the better.
Cat Fawcett from UK Locations says:
We’re always open to seeing varying types of locations. Size is usually the biggest factor for us as crews need to be able to set up, move around, sometimes swap furniture out and have different angle options to shoot.
Beautiful big period properties with good styling are always what we’re desperate for, but equally we’re always on the look out for lovely family homes, amazing architecture or something a little bit different.
Location is another factor as Yorkshire, the North West and Midlands are our key areas.’